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Don't let Vermont become Mississippi north

11/29/2007

To the Editor:

Kara Herlihy's article noting the flight of young people away from Vermont (November 21, "Where have all the young people gone?") was summed up in one revealing paragraph:

"With environmental development laws cast in stone and a serious lack of corporate centers for well-paying jobs, the trend seems to indicate that they're not coming back anytime soon."

There is a single blame for what has happened here. With a state legislature fixated on and dominated by special interests, Vermont's economy will continue its downward spiral until it becomes what we all dread -- 'Mississippi North.'

We have citizens here who are so paranoid about invading the environment that they declare cell phone towers to be an unnecessary menace. Yet, more progressive states which adopt and promote clean technology and efficiency of communication continue to attract clean businesses that lead to better paying jobs, and its spin-off, more affordable housing.  

For years the Vermont Legislature has been promising to reform its stifling and confusing tax situation and also strike a balance between preservation and economic progress. It has failed miserably. With the right people in charge we can protect the environment and advance the cause of a sound economy.  

But not if our state legislature's majority members continue to look the other way, ignoring the fact that Vermont is already the highest taxed state in the nation, has a deteriorating economy and is chasing away talented young Vermonters.  

John Hilferty

Moretown

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